15 Weeks

Some notes:

  • Craving: chips with artificial cheese (i.e. Doritos), pickles (cliche, but true…), BLT w/turkey bacon (could literally eat these for every meal, happily), French fries or fried potato in any form, lemonade 
  • Bump: can definitely feel my uterus above my pubic bone, but still no bump 😣 …yeah, yeah, I know… soon enough…
  • doc appointment at 14w5d was uneventful – heard heartbeat (yay💛), but my home Doppler is better than theirs! I guess uneventful is a good thing!
  • still going to acupuncture once a week 
  • Good news: going back to the gym!
  • Looking forward to: celebrating my sister’s birthday this weekend (soon to be Auntie Dara in about 6 months!)
  • Baby Items: furniture for nursery (from my parents’ house) is being delivered tomorrow, and Rob’s parents told us that they are giving us the family heirloom rocking chair from Italy! I’m not quite ready to start the registry or to do any shopping of my own yet.
  • Worries: trying to figure out my long term disability insurance for maternity leave (have been paying into it for 11 years; have no idea what my coverage is or what my policy number is or how to go about figuring it out…)

That’s about it… if I think of anything else worth adding, I will update! 

  

(It is definitely pouchier and bulgier, but still mostly soft, and in my opinion, does not yet qualify for bump status!!!) Maybe next week?!? 

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Back to Aasics

 
This week, I have made my triumphant return to the world of fitness. More specifically, I took it super easy on the treadmill on Monday, and today I didn’t take it super easy in a toning class on the bar. 😜

Here’s the deal. I have never been athletic, and growing up, the only consistent physical activity I did was a couple of dance classes a week. I’m short with an average build and have always carried a little bit of extra weight – not a ton, but I’m curvy and have a little something extra to hold on to. In college, I attempted to go to the gym here and there, but it was never consistent. Working out was something I dreamed about but somehow I just couldn’t be that person.

9 years ago I tried my first Jazzercise class. This June, I will have been teaching Jazzercise for seven years. (PS, Jazzercise maintains its outdated name from the 70s but is actually an extremely current and effective workout… but I digress…).

Why am I mentioning all of this? It took me almost three decades to take control of my fitness, and in the past 7 years since that has happened, I have been more confident, and obviously healthier than ever. But for the past year, fertility treatments have robbed me of this aspect of my life. Forced medical leaves after IUIs, during stimulation in IVF cycles, post transfer waits… not to mention my tube rupture and subsequent surgery in August have all led to inconsistency in my workout schedule. I’ve never been obsessed with the numbers on the scale, but I estimate that I’ve gained about 10 pounds this year. In the past 4 months since I’ve been pregnant, I haven’t gained any additional weight, but I have felt myself turn to flab.

And there was nothing I could do about it.

And of course I’d do it all again and it has all been worth it. So please don’t misunderstand.

But it’s a big deal to me that I’m finally allowed to ease back in to exercise now, and I intend to be dedicated to a workout schedule throughout my pregnancy. I have decided not to return to teaching class until after baby is born (if I return at all). My doctor doesn’t want me doing anything high impact and I am not allowed to lift weights. Soooo, I joined a beautiful [expensive] fitness facility 5 minutes from my house. I want to be as strong as I can for labor and delivery, and I want to be as healthy as I can be so that I can take the best care of my baby.

Case in point, tonight is the BEST I have felt physically and mentally since my BFP. Exercising really does make you feel better and I am so grateful to be able to return. It is frustrating not being as strong as I was 6 months ago, but I know I will get there eventually. 

I am a little paranoid of overdoing it and hurting the pregnancy somehow. But I think the benefits far outweigh the potential risks so I am just going to be smart and listen to my body.

14 Weeks 

Today, ALL of my pregnancy apps have officially rolled me over into second trimester. (Some of them rolled me over last week). Now I feel like a member of the second tri club. 

Here are some things the apps and books say about second trimester:

  • You will pee less. False. I didn’t pee any more than usual during first tri. Now, I can barely make it an hour, and am making one bathroom visit during each sleep.
  • You will get some energy back. False. I have been more tired than ever.
  • Your morning sickness will subside. False. Well, to be fair, I was very fortunate and never had textbook morning sickness. However, I feel “yuckier” and more run down than I did in first tri. I have a constant “full” feeling even if I haven’t eaten, and am consistently sore in the lower abdomen. Sort of achey I guess I would say.
  • Your boobs will be less tender. False. Just false.

Now, this is just me, and I have never been a “by the book” kind of gal. Also, it is very early in my second trimester so I’m sure the coming weeks will bring lots of change.

All in all, I am still feeling great and have no cause for complaint at all. NT scan and level 1 genetic blood work all came back normal, which I am so so grateful for. My family, friends, and colleagues couldn’t be happier and more supportive. Even Rob is starting to get a kick out of telling people I’m pregnant. 

Here’s today’s bump pic (jury is still out as to whether it is the beginning of a bump or still just bloat… probably a bit of each).

  

Pregnancy Gods Forgive Me

I ate a turkey sandwich from my favorite kosher deli. I nuked it in the micro first, but I am still nervous because that’s me. I am the kind of person who is irrationally scared of food poisoning when I am not pregnant, and I just ate deli meat. This is called desperation. 

So, pregnancy gods, I implore you! I have been scared to eat for weeks and I needed something with nutritional value. Please forgive me just this once.

No, I couldn’t really enjoy it, but yeah, it was good… 

  

Going Live!

Today is the day… we are going Facebook official with the pregnancy. It is an absolutely – flawlessly – beautiful day here in NJ, and in spite of the bleeding yesterday we got a good report from doc… so today just feels like the day.

There is one thing tugging at my heartstrings. The people who will see my announcement and feel despair, emptiness, or frustration. Yes, I have waited for this moment, but I so feel for everyone in the infertility community, no matter what stage of the journey they are on. Along with the picture below, I plan to add the caption: “Brought to you by patience, love, and science. Never give up hope.” 

 Edit

[photo cred: my awesome sister 💛]  

Never Get Comfy – updated!

(Original post below)

First of all, baby is doing just fine, with a heartbeat as strong as ever, and measuring exactly 13w1d. So, hallelujah and thank the heavens!!! 

But to recap… When I got home from work, there was some fresh blood and more cramping. I decided to call the doctor before weekend hours made it harder to get someone on the phone. The doctor called me right back and told me to meet him at the office. There was no hesitation and no further questions asked. He said he didn’t want me to have to live with any uncertainty all weekend.

I passed a small clot while at the doctor’s office, but baby’s heart was a strong 168 on the ultrasound. The only visible source for the problem seemed to be at the top of the placenta, near the cervix. It looked like it was lifting from the uterus slightly and that’s where blood was pooling. The doctor was not concerned. He said babies only actually need 50% of the placenta to survive and this was minuscule, comparatively.

He also added that if bleeding gets worse or I just need peace of mind, I should call any time, even if it’s over the weekend. They will scan me for free if it’s not covered by insurance. This sealed the deal fore that I am remaining with this OBGYN group. I had been on the fence, but they couldn’t have made me feel more validated or comfortable today than they did. 

So, given the good news, in spite of some blood, I think we are going to go ahead with our Facebook reveal tomorrow! Yippee!

———————————————————–

  • Had my NT scan on Wednesday and everything looked great.
  • Subchorionic hematoma resolved itself.
  • Hit 13 weeks yesterday.
  • Announced pregnancy at work.

So, naturally, today I am having spotting and some cramps. It is very minimal, but it is there.

Come on, universe, please just throw me a fucking bone. Please.

On Interpreting Your Own Blood Work…

Today (well, yesterday… I fell asleep midpost!)  began with me freaking myself out. (So what else is new?!?) I signed into my online patient portal for my new obgyn and saw that my most recent blood panel results had been entered in. One test at a time, I checked my results against the recommended ranges and everything looked perfect… until I got to this scary sounding thing called parvovirus

Right away I went to the good ol’ Internet. Parvovirus B19 is more commonly known as fifths disease. It is common among young and school aged children and presents like a common cold, sometimes with a fever and rash. It is not dangerous unless you are immonocompromised (which pregnant women are), and it can infect the fetus and cause miscarriage. Cue freak out. Once I calmed down and read 17 additional scary statistics, I looked back at my blood results. I noticed that “Parvovirus igg” was elevated, but “Parvovirus igm” was in the normal range. 

Back to google. Turns out “igg” represents the antibodies and indicates that I once had the virus. Meanwhile, “igm,” which was normal, indicates current infection. When I followed up with my mom, she confirmed that yes, I had fifths disease when I was very young. And when I followed up with doctor, she confirmed that my results were merely an indication of former infection and so not to worry. In fact, she told me, even better because now I am immune!

Something new to learn every day of this journey…

I’m a Graduate!

Today I received a message I have been waiting for! At 12w5d I have officially graduated from my fertility doctors. No more weekly blood draw. NO MORE PIO SHOTS. Never thought this day would come.

Obviously I feel so very grateful and humbled  to be at this point. My NT Scan is tomorrow and we plan to “announce” Thursday or Friday (though, to be honest, I have been pretty loose lipped about it the past few days at work…). 

And yet, as I listened to my main doctor wishing me well and urging him to call him any time if I need anything, I actually got all choked up. This is something I never could have anticipated. I am legitimately going to miss the entire staff of that office, and I feel so grateful to them for the kindness and patience they have shown me during a difficult and emotional journey. 

So today is bittersweet. But mostly sweet. 👶🏼

12w Bump Watch 

Still pretty quiet in bump town. 

  

My Sonoline B Doppler arrived today. I want to thank everyone who recommended it! I watched a few tutorials and then laid down on the couch to give it a go. It took about 5 minutes (I think I got lucky!). First, I heard my own heartbeat (slower), then the infamous swooshing sound that’s not baby. Then, when I dug in a little deeper, I for sure found baby’s heart beat, slightly below and to the right of my belly button. 

I couldn’t stop smiling. ☺️

Cravings & 11w5d Update 

  Who needs vodka when you have mandarins?!? And listen, I’m only half joking because I’m already 3 deep and I just got them home 10 minutes ago.  Even the smell of them is so satisfying. I seriously think I could make a good dent in this bowl by dinner time if I’m not careful…

I’m so relieved to be craving fruit instead of cake and candy. I hope this is a new trend. 

  There’s my strong baby gummi bear at 11w4d, with feet in the air! Placenta is lighter area to the right, which I thought was pretty cool, and my bloodwork shows that it is doing its job of producing hormones. I’m done with Estrace and Progesterone weening is underway! I may be one week away from my last butt shot. Fingers crossed. 

The hematoma appears to be gone which means exercise restriction has been lifted and I am off pelvic rest. My NT scan is a week from tomorrow and I’m planning to officially “reveal” [i.e. on social media] once I have the results. 

Doc mentioned the accompanying blood tests (MaterniT21) but didn’t write a prescription for the lab work so I’m not sure what that’s all about. But I don’t think those are time sensitive so I will ask at my appointment next week.

I’ve got a lower belly bloat pouch, but this has never been a “flat” zone for me.  My clothes are all still fitting; even jeans. I’m eagerly awaiting second trimester and hopefully will sport the oh-so-cute second tri bump soon! ☺️

Ok, I’m off to eat another mandarin…